A new week and the New Year is still fresh. The buzz in London is not about Brexit or even a potential for a Third World War, rumours of which were swirling just a week ago, but rather a tabloid speciality The Royals.
I mean of course the Royal family of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Much more important even than the football results or yet the astonishing record of Liverpool FC. Liverpool FC has managed not to loose a match in a calendar year and leads arguably the world’s richest and greatest competition, the Premier League of England.
Why are we all so interested in the Royal Family? I suspect we see our own families trials, tribulations, joys and jubilations; write large across the front pages of the global press. Tribulations that are all too often cringe worthy however joys too that we all identify with; births deaths and marriages. With the added zest of occasional Coronations, parades and celebrations.
Which family is wholly without the occasional scandal or even black sheep member who defies the established order and determines to do their own thing. Reading the press coverage over the weekend commentators are not too impressed with the actions and aspiration of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The suggestion that the Sussex’s are looking for a ‘free lunch’ rather than doing the whole of the job, that being a member of the Royal Family involves.
Some members of the extended family have stepped back or never accepted the HRH tile and the duties that title carried with it, so there may be scope for a relationship that works for all parties that will become apparent over the coming days and weeks.
The mood of many though is one of deep sympathy that our Sovereign who has occupied the Throne for 68 years still has no respite from the trials and tribulations of family life and probably never will. On the other hand the Queen will still have the joys too. Perhaps that’s why we follow the news of the families’ activities so closely.
In a strange way while the job of Monarch itself is not one most of us would ever wish for we still identify with the people as presented to us through the newspapers and media generally however true or false that representation is.
Fake news has always abounded and at some level could be characterised as village gossip which has usually been described as poisonous village gossip. What we all need to do is to further refine our collective skills in spotting the difference between the real news and the fake.
As the days of 2020 unfold, news fake or otherwise will be published, many of us will continue to follow the activities of the personalities of the Royal Family at least in part. Reassured that our own family life is not as messy, or perhaps even as interesting.
Nick Horne, London, England